Why we're here:
This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive or record live broadcast television programmes then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

TV Licensing Commentary on Manx Radio

Two massively deserved hat-tips today: firstly to Manx Harry for sending his thoughts about TV Licensing goons into Manx Radio; secondly to presenter Stu Peters for reading them out live on air.

Manx Harry, otherwise known as manxharrymonk on YouTube, penned an email to Stu Peters, host of the weekday Talking Heads programme on Manx Radio, all about TV Licensing's much publicised visit to the Island. 

Stu read the email out part way through his show on Friday, 17th October 2014.

The text of Manx Harry's email went as follows:

I see that it's reported that TV Licensing are sending their goon squad back to the Island to dish out some more doorstep harassment in the coming weeks.

I'd just like everybody to know that these so-called "enforcement officers" that they send out to knock on doors, have no more authority than the Avon lady or someone selling dusters or double glazing. They are basically salesmen who work for a private company called Capita, who have the contract to collect the TV licence fee.

These goons that come around people's homes are self-employed and receive a salary of around £17,000 per year, but they also collect £20 commission for every TV licence that they sell.

The best way to deal with these cold callers is to simply not answer the door unless you're expecting a visitor. If you are unlucky enough to encounter one of these people on the doorstep: don't confirm that you live at the address; don't confirm your name or any of your other personal details either; and never sign anything that they hand to you; and never ever let them into your home; and if possible video your encounter with them. (Stu: We've all got a video camera by the front door!) Simply close the door and get on with what you were doing.

These TV Licensing people have absolutely no legal powers whatsoever, but a lot of people don't understand this. (Stu: You're right. You're right. A lot of people don't understand that).

People can find all the information they need for dealing with TV Licensing at www.tvlicenceresistance.info, or check out all the TV Licensing goon videos on YouTube.
Couldn't have put it any better myself.

Well done to Manx Harry and thanks to Stu for reading the email to his listeners.

TV Licensing PR Harlots: We're Helping to Save Paper

TV Licensing's PR people are always good for a giggle.

It looks like their latest campaign, which has been drip fed to local newspapers and radio stations across the nation, extols the virtues of paying online and thereby saving time and paper.

TV Licensing PR harlot Martin Dyan, who works for Fishburn (formerly Fishburn Hedges), gave this insightful commentary to The Breeze 107.6 radio station based in Basingstoke: "There has actually been an increase in the number of people paying online.

"It's actually up from 4.2 million last year to 5.2 million people across the UK.

"It's always great to see people getting away from paper and just trying to be a bit more online. 

"It helps keep the paper trail down; everything becomes a lot more efficient; and you're still able to get the same service and still watch that fantastic TV that you like to watch.

"It's certainly becoming, if not already, the way to get a licence."

Now for the bits that Dyan forgot to mention. TV Licensing is so concerned about saving time, paper and administrative costs that it actually sends out about 100,000 reminder letters every single working day. 

Of those 100,000 letters, each costing around 18.4 pence for postage alone (2012 figures), more than 80,000 of them are destined for properties where no TV licence is needed. That's according to the BBC's own figures, which state that more than 4 out of 5 unlicensed addresses are correctly unlicensed.

In other words every single working day TV Licensing is effectively flushing almost £20,000 of public money straight down the drain by sending letters to people who don't need them. That's only accounting for the postal costs. We estimate that the true cost of distributing these letters is actually twice that amount, when printing and sorting costs are taken into account.

Ponder that one the next time TV Licensing are peddling their planted smut in the local newspaper or radio station.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Reader Letter: TV Licensing Wrongly Nabs House Sitter

In today's post we shall respond to an email enquiry we received earlier in the week.

Our reader writes:

Dear TV Licensing Blog,

I'm a long time lurker on your blog and need some advice. A few months ago I was house sitting at my brother and sister-in-law's place while they were on holiday in the Canary Islands. They both have busy jobs and what with all the recent scandals they decided to cancel their TV licence earlier this year.

I was playing on my brother's games console in the front room when I caught a fleeting glimpse of someone passing the window. A few moments later the doorbell went and I got up to answer it. What I now know to be a goon was stood at the front door and he asked "are you Mr Black?" Caught off guard, I immediately responded that yes I was. Of course I now realise he was after my brother instead of me.

It was at this point the goon said who he was. I could have slapped myself for being so stupid and confirming my name, but what's done is done. I told him that the house didn't need a TV licence and I wasn't the occupier anyway. I then asked him to leave, to which he started walking away and muttered something like "well you said you were Mr Black, that's the name I've got". He stood at the end of the garden path for a few moments and tapped on his PDA thing.

My brother, also Mr Black, has just received a summons claiming that he was watching TV without a licence on such and such a date. He gave me a right ear bashing down the phone and is terrified at the prospect of going to court.

Given that we can prove he was in the Canary Islands at the time of the goon's visit, we don't think TV Licensing has much of a case. My brother, who has a job where he can't afford any legal problems, wants to consult a solicitor just to be on the safe side. Can you please give us some advice?


TV Licensing Blog replies:

Dear Chris,

Thanks for getting in touch and we hope you find our blog entries informative and entertaining.

Your case is far from isolated. We have heard about many TV Licensing prosecution anomalies over the years.

As we're sure you know, a TV licence is needed for any property where equipment is used to receive TV programme services. Reading your email we're assuming that your brother's property does not require a TV licence and our response is based on that assumption.

TV Licensing rules are such that a goon should only conduct an interview (e.g complete the TVL 178 Record of Interview form) when the person who answers the door is identified as an adult resident of the property. It looks like the goon in this case has overlooked that point.

Your brother should contact TV Licensing's prosecution team in Darwen and explain that he and his wife, the only two occupiers of the property, were on holiday abroad at the time the goon visited. Your brother could also offer to prove this fact by offering to show his holiday snaps or receipts. That should be sufficient for TV Licensing to drop the prosecution. Given your comments about your brother not wanting any legal problems, we think that is probably the safest way to proceed.


If you have any questions you would like answered on the TV Licensing Blog, please email us with the words "Reader Letter" in the subject line. Our email address is in the sidebar. As mentioned on the About page, we can't guarantee to respond to every email but will try our best.

Friday, 17 October 2014

BBC Pious Over Right to be Forgotten

The BBC has announced that it is to maintain a public list of pages removed from its website under the recent European "right to be forgotten" ruling.

Last year, in response to the controversial European High Court ruling, Google introduced a system that allowed individuals to request the removal of obsolete personal data from the search engine's rankings. Since the ruling in May 2013 Google has received more than 18,000 requests from Britons and deleted more than 35% of the relevant entries from its search engine results.

The ruling has attracted widespread criticism after it emerged that thousands of convicted criminals had requested the removal of search engine results highlighting their past misdeeds.

David Jordan, the BBC's Director of Editorial Policy and Standards, told a public meeting, hosted by Google, that the Corporation felt some of its articles had been wrongly hidden.

He criticised the "lack of a formal appeal process" after links have been taken down, noting one case where news of the trial involving members of the Real IRA was removed from search results, even though two of the accused were subsequently convicted.

Here at the TV Licensing Blog we are strong defenders of the free press and the right to publish. It comes as somewhat of a surprise that the BBC, which obstructs information requests and covers up scandal at every turn, is taking the moral high ground on the issue of keeping information in the public domain.

It's a shame the BBC hasn't been so forthcoming about its own internal sex scandals and corruption.